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Forty Acres and a Goat

A call with no steeple from the preacher with no pulpit


In Forty Acres and a Goat, Will D. Campbell (1924–2013) picks up where the award-winning Brother to a Dragonfly leaves off, accounting his adventures during the tumultuous civil rights era. As he navigates through the explosive 1960s, including pivotal moments like the integration of Little Rock High School and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Brother Will finds his faith challenged. To further complicate matters, a series of jobs did not pan out as expected—pastorate in Louisiana, director of religious life at the University of Mississippi, and with the National Council of Churches—leaving Brother Will “with a call but no steeple.” In an effort to find his place as a preacher, he moves his family to a farm in rural Tennessee and fashions his own unique style of ministry and a maverick relationship with God, land, and all his fellow pilgrims.


"A personality that manages to be reverent and revolutionary all at once."

- People

"It's people like Will Campbell and Andy Young, Charles Morgan and John Lewis who have brought the South as far as it's come in the past quarter-century. . . . They have been 'inside agitators' of the best sort, and they have agitated their fellow southerners into realizing much of what is good and noble in them."

- Jonathan Yardley, New York Times

"If any parishioners ever dozed off while Brother Campbell was preaching, they must not have been listening."

- Allen Boyer,